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Improve patient engagement with HIPAA compliant text messages

Improve patient engagement with HIPAA compliant text messages

HIPAA compliant text messages have been proven to be an effective way of increasing patient engagement. They encourage more frequent communication, allowing patients to play a more active part in their healthcare journey.


How do text messages increase patient engagement?

Convenience and accessibility

Patients can easily receive healthcare-related information via HIPAA compliant text messages sent straight to their mobile devices. They can also respond without downloading any additional apps or using any portals. Studies show that these portals often present significant challenges for some patients.

More particularly, older persons and patients with limited computer experience or weak health literacy and numeracy skills often struggle to navigate the portals. Improving accessibility is also beneficial for patients with disabilities, communication difficulties, or other challenges, making healthcare more inclusive and user-friendly for everyone.

HIPAA compliant text messaging is a simple solution to connect with individuals who prefer communicating through text. It ensures seamless communication while upholding patient privacy and regulatory compliance.


How to initiate patient engagement using text

Providers can send patients different types of text messages to initiate patient engagement. For example, notifying a patient of an upcoming appointment allows them to reschedule, if needed. Sending follow-up care instructions allows patients to alert providers of any side effects or new symptoms.

Patients can also seek expert advice or express their gratitude with a simple 'Thank you' message. This builds a strong patient-provider relationship and improves patient-centered communication.

Patients are then more likely to initiate information-seeking dialogues, whether it's about upcoming procedures, like asking about an MRI appointment. These types of messages are more likely to address patients' clinical needs and logistical queries.


What are some of the most common texts providers receive?

  • Medication messages include inquiries about prescribed medications, their purposes, or dosing schedules, facilitating medication management.
  • Treatment plan messages delve into discussions about proposed tests, procedures, or therapies, helping patients understand and engage in their treatment journey.
  • Symptoms messages enable patients to communicate physical or mental concerns they're experiencing or anticipating, allowing providers to address them promptly.
  • Scheduling messages helps patients navigate their care journey by clarifying appointment dates and times, ensuring smooth logistical coordination.
  • Messages related to pain provide insight into patients' comfort levels, guiding providers in improving pain management strategies.
  • Contact information messages streamline communication by sharing relevant contacts, such as a primary care physician's number, enhancing care coordination and patient support.


Addressing patient privacy concerns

Research shows that patients view secure messaging as a valuable way to interact with their providers when it is convenient for them and as a way to have a record of those conversations. However, HIPAA regulations require healthcare providers to safeguard Protected Health Information (PHI) shared via text messages to ensure patient privacy.

Many providers face the potential time burden of secure messaging due to a lack of existing workflows to support electronic communication in their practices. Paubox offers a seamless solution with HIPAA compliant text messaging, addressing the communication needs of healthcare providers while ensuring regulatory compliance.

Read also: HIPAA compliant text messaging



How does HIPAA apply to text message interventions in adolescents?

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) does not specifically address adolescent text-based interventions. However, when healthcare providers must ensure HIPAA compliance to protect the privacy and security of adolescents' Protected Health Information (PHI).


Do providers need parental consent to communicate with adolescent patients via text messages?

The need for parental consent to communicate with adolescent patients via text messages depends on various factors, including state laws and healthcare facility policies. In many cases, healthcare providers may require parental consent, particularly for minors under a certain age, to ensure compliance with legal and ethical standards regarding minors' healthcare privacy. However, some jurisdictions may allow adolescents to consent to text messages, particularly for sensitive issues like reproductive health or mental health.


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